Friday, January 14, 2011

Live up to our children's expectations

I was at my computer preparing for a program the next day entitled Communicating from Strength... and maintaining your sensitivity to others. The course explores the differences among communicating in a manner that is assertive, aggressive, passive or passive-aggressive. Then I noticed that the memorial in Tucson was about to begin. As President Obama began to speak, and I heard the reaction from the crowd gathered, I immediately went to my television to watch those present reacting to his words. I encourage you all to watch the speech. He honored everyone who was lost that terrible day and encouraged us as a nation of people. Here are some of the quotes that I quickly wrote down:

"Talking with each other in a way that heals, not wounds." Those who communicate aggressively and passive-aggressively aim to wound.

"Sharpen our instincts for empathy." The key to understanding one another is empathy.

"Listen to each other more carefully." Listening is the greatest gift we give one another.

"Nurture our relationships with those who are still with us." Oh yes, such a reminder about how fleeting life can be.

"Making sure we align our values with our actions." Do we walk the talk?

"That we live up to our children's expectations." I thought of the dear children in my life─three of whom are pictured. I'm sure everyone listening thought of the children in their lives. Those who had just lost their precious daughter─the parents of nine year old Christina Taylor Green─stood up and applauded as our president closed his remarks with that phrase. Our highest goal: to live up to the expectations of the children in our lives.

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